Tip # 69 Copeton Rally 2005, and What More You Saw to Add on to Your Van….

Submitted: Friday, Oct 07, 2005 at 23:44
ThreadID: 122274 Views:4014 Replies:2 FollowUps:2
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Here is an important perspective, that varies when you look at the whole rather than the individual ideas of merit in what you can add on... To start with: At Bushtracker, our wall structure is actually lighter than most with the aircraft style framing, but our chassis and body armour and suspension is a little more and it evens out with every other so called Off-road van in weight only we have a lower center of gravity than the rest with our frames… While we weigh the same overall, our weight is lower… However, some come out weighing more, because we offer more Optional Equipment, for luxury and self sufficiency than anyone else.. The Optional Equipment adds about 300kg to the weight of the van… If you take most of it, an 18' with a lot of gear can weigh in at about 2300kg. There are too many variables, even down to the layout, an open plan will weigh less than a multiple room sort.... A lot of Optional Equipment should put a 20' van up around the 2500kg mark. 21' can go 26-2700 with a lot of gear.. Sometimes it is a bit lighter, and sometimes it ends up a bit heavier.. I noticed in August of 2005 for example we had a 22’ well equipped go out at 2700kg and a 24’ loaded up ran out at 2900kg… That is a little lighter than would be expected, but it shows that the weight goes both ways.. Most of the variability is by how much gear you load up on the van.. The average with most of our Optional Equipment on board, would be about 2300kg for 18’ and 2500 kg for 20’ and about 120 to 140 kg per foot after that… Some a little lighter, some a little heavier…

The problem is that some people add a tremendous amount of little details and widgets, and a lot of well meaning good advice and tips on the BOG.. But you need to filter it a bit and think about what you can do without or this is where you come to grief ...It is hard for people to remember all of the little bits and pieces they add on themselves. There is a broad spectrum of variation in layouts as it is. But one thing is constant and that is the extreme attention to little added goodies that adds up to a heavier van... Those that made many repeated trips here adding on bits and pieces each time, supplying a lot of advanced electrical and components, and great attention to detail tend to weigh more.. Each idea has great merit on their own, but the problem is that they all add up.... People tend to forget that... It is not just an extra panel or battery we are talking about, it is a list of 150 little bits and pieces that add up in the end... A kilo or pound here and there.

Little rails on shelves and this and that, and it all added up... The record of late is a person that made thirty or forty trips here with little fold down tables here and little shelves here, and captains railing here, and slide out cutting boards, and lights in cargo areas, and around in front under the overhang, and over the outdoor shower, and extra electrical and plugs, and stereos and DVD stackers and quad speakers and flat screen TV, and three way switching this and that, and bunks that converted into this and that, and computer work station under the table, and extra towel rails in six different places, and all these kind of little good ideas. They only weighed a kilo or two, but after 85 of them were added on he weighed in at 2840 kg....! He ran out 300 kg more than he should have. This is the problem, when we are full of wonderful ideas of dreaming about what more would be good to have aboard… And this is what you need to be on guard for…

If you went around to the 68 vans at Copeton last year, each would have had a good little bit that they added on to personalize their van with.. On their own, they are nearly all really nice ideas, but do you need them? I have used the parable before, of the trip to Lightening Ridge, with Landcruisers parked on each side of the street… If a Novice came and looked in detail at all the different ideas on the forty Landcruisers on the main street... Each individual would have a different idea of gear, some front hitches, some with winches, some with rear winches, some with two spares, some with dual tanks, tool boxes, roll bars, side bars, side steps, centre consoles, multiple radios, fridges, solar panels, boat rollers, roof racks, pole holders, side lights, flood lights, backup lights, water tanks, hot water shower systems, cargo cages, roll out drawers and compartments, tyre breakdown kits, on and on and on.... If a Novice took on board half of the great ideas, their vehicle would be overweight and illegal before they even got into it... This is precisely the problem.

AN IMPORTANT PERSPECTIVE: When collecting ideas as one makes the rounds, the right attitude is “That’s nice, but do we really need it” rather than “what more can we add on”…. OK?

Kind Regards from the Ranger, always scouting for a better way!

"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Oct 08, 2005 at 00:46

Saturday, Oct 08, 2005 at 00:46
and being a photo and video nerd doesn't help either ... lol

I have 3 computer systems with a 30" and 3 24" screens, and A2 printer
4 studio strobes, two camera systems weighing in at around 45Kg each,
the video system at around 15Kg, all the batteries and chargers and bags
and filters ... rofl ... why do you think I asked about tri-axle for a 22 or 23'
Total weight of all my gear is calculated at some 400+ Kilos of which half
is going into the vehicle and half into the van ... now since you have posted
this here I have another interesting thing for you as a Caravan supplier ..
ever thought about a shockproof cabinet for computers ? Hard drives are
sensitive even, if they are not running, against shock .. having around 2
tera byte of storage in my mobile units gives me a bit of a headache at the moment ... I was working myself on a unit with a box in a box with a rubber suspension ... so far I take my computers and put them on the bed and keep them in place with a rope or 2 or 3 :)) .... the bed gives good protection but one gets
tired of moving the boxes all the time :)) ...
for me its less of a question what can I add to the caravan and do I need it rather
than what other lens or camera I add to my collection :)) ...
or for example: Our Cappuccino machine (a Jura Impressa Z9) needs a solid
mount which takes a bit of rattle away from the machine ...
I can add a whole new dimension to your add on post .. lol ...
all in good fun though

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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Saturday, Oct 08, 2005 at 00:55

Saturday, Oct 08, 2005 at 00:55
In answer to the question....

Sometimes the simplest things are the easy answer.... K.I.S.S. Engineering... There has been a good deal of success with 4" soft mattress type foam in a box to cushion fragile electronics...

All in good fun, if you head down a road of overloading things, know that I will be dragging along behind throwing a rope over ya, tryin to slow ya down a bit, before you go over the edge...

Regards from da Ranger....

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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Saturday, Oct 08, 2005 at 00:54

Saturday, Oct 08, 2005 at 00:54
It is interesting how the manufacturer of our vans is asking people to watch how much they put in the vans and only put items that are really necessary, even though he could make more money out of people by putting every little conceivable item in the van.

On the other hand with his comparision to Landcruiser extras, it has been my observation that the people at the likes of ARB TJM Opposite Lock etc, all try to get you to put ever little bit of extra gear in the vehicle, and make more money out of you at the same time.

We have made lots of little changes to our van since we bought it in June 2001, and have probably added another 100kgs to the tare weight. In reality though all the little extras that we have put in our van only brings it up to what the average van goes out with now.

I agree with Steve when he says only have the things that you really need. When you travel around for a while, you will be getting rid of things that have been carted around Australia and never used in the whole trip. Last year in Broome we off loaded some of those nice to have extras to the Salvos Op Shop.

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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Saturday, Oct 08, 2005 at 01:05

Saturday, Oct 08, 2005 at 01:05
Thank you Brian,
And you are so good, you can have my job anytime you want it... Ha!

Look, we only want to do the right thing by people... And when we can't we would rather just finish out our Commitments and shut the whole thing down... Actually that sounds good, can I have a year or two off? Ha! LOL....!

Thank you for noticing Brian, that often our good advice is counter productive to our pocket book... But we really do try and take the best care of people possible... On the other hand, maybe that is why our Customers are our Sales Staff, so maybe it does pay off in the long run...

Cheers, stg
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